From the GRACE Archives – Focus
This month my idea for writing has been focus but I’m having a very hard time getting my focus, getting a clear picture, as to what to write about. I’ve been perusing scriptures and contemplating ideas but there just seems to be too many directions I can go. Honing into one and taking off with it or sticking to it is becoming very difficult.
I wonder if this is not somewhat like our Christian faith. There is so much good we can focus on and so many side roads we can travel. Sometimes these can be great and can help us to grow in depth and breadth of our knowledge of God, but sometimes we can get side tracked and forget what is really important.
Have you ever noticed when you read or hear something about a topic like parenting or marriage, your focus starts out good (i.e. how can I be a better…?) but soon seems to shift? We pick up a book ’10 easy steps to becoming a great mate” and start reading with all good intention but soon we start seeing things and think ‘well my mate doesn’t do that…. You mean her spouse actually does…” Our focus seems to change, we start reading a “how to…” and end up reading a “why doesn’t…”
You can see examples of this in scripture, like when Paul asks the Galatians: “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Where did they go wrong? I think it was in their focus. Their focus became, as ours often does, how can “I” be a ‘better’ Christian. We add in how can “I” be a ‘better’ church goer, wife, mother, etc. As we start focusing on ourselves our vision becomes skewed. We start with good intentions but, because our focus is internal, our actions tend to be motivated by our gain. Instead of seeing as God would have us see, our vision is clouded by our I’s. We start seeing where we have been wronged, used, abused or where we are better, more proficient, more able. We become bitter, resentful, prideful, discontent.
When this happens we need to stop and redirect our focus back to God. When we glimpse God, see His glory, all else pales. When we seek God first; life falls into place. When our focus is on the love God has shown us, we are able to love; when our focus is on the mercy we have received, we are able to forgive, when our focus is on the hope to come, we can offer hope; when our focus is on God, all earthly cares diminish. So I would like to encourage each of to start off our school year, focusing on what is important; seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33
By Tami Munden
On a somewhat related note… this is a good blog: http://thetarasfamily.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/the-discontent-wife-whos-to-blame/